My name is Nick Attanasio. I’m 42 and I have stage 4 ARPKD. I was diagnosed when I was 14 after my father had his first kidney removed. They were monitoring his blood pressure after surgery and decided to test mine. When it kept coming back high, I was diagnosed with PKD.

Since diagnosis, I’ve worked hard to get awareness for this disease out. I work for a university and my students have been incredible when it comes to advocating and fundraising for PKD research. I do what I can to keep myself healthy, like eating right and exercising.

I don’t feel that this disease defines me in any way, I’m not ashamed or fearful of it. I actually consider myself pretty darn lucky. I have a really good life and this is just one of those speed bumps that make you stronger.